Harness Racing Australia (HRA’s) recent announcements to reform the Australian harness racing industry for the long-term sustainability of the sport continue to gain support.
John Campbell, from Loddon Valley Standardbred Stud, has added his voice to the growing chorus, saying, “As a second generation studmaster and breeder for over 50 years, I’ve supported 150 limits right through the consultative period. The benefits may not be immediate, but this decision is critical to futureproof our industry, create competition and promote diversity.
Campbell also sees advantages for the industry with the announcement to permanently change the Racing Season to start 1 January from next year. “Southern Hemisphere mares are in the peak of their fertility during the December to February period, so the change in Racing Season is more great news for breeders as it will relieve pressure to push for early foals.
“There will be nothing wrong with December, January or even February foals under this scenario, so breeders can continue to serve beyond the current “artificial cut-off” of mid to late December”, Campbell said.
Statistics support this argument, with very little difference between the “average number of starts” or the “winners to starters percentages” for 2yo, 3yo and 4yo’s over the past three racing seasons (2016/17 to 2018/19).
Sept – Nov: 8.81
Dec – Feb: 8.58
Winners : Starters
Sept – Nov: 46.79%
Dec – Feb: 43.63%
With even more opportunities for 2yo’s from 1 January 2020, these trends looks set to continue.
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ANDREW KELLY | CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
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